Orlando grew on us. Just like you, I only pictured theme parks, tourists, and way too many kids jumping around when I thought Orlando. But when Ole got a job offer there, we moved from South Florida to a little town outside Orlando called Winter Park. Granted, it was not the super-nice part of Winter Park that’s home to Ivy League students and rich people, but technically Winter Park.
From there we realized that downtown Orlando is no where near the theme parks. It’s about 40 minutes North (yes, Orlando is HUGE) and very quaint and uncrowded. In fact it almost feels like a dead city during the day, there’s like, no one around. In spite of ourselves, downtown Orlando and Winter Park stole our hearts as we found gem after gem we simply didn’t expect.
Then, as often seems to happen, just as we felt settled and found a groove, we moved back to South Florida! The job Ole had moved out of the area, so now we have two Florida homes.